Jordan and Gulf States Could Fall: Ex-IDF Chief

By JTA

Published June 20, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The regimes in Jordan and Persian Gulf countries are at risk of falling, former Israeli IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi warned.

“Few foresaw what would happen to Mubarak,” Ashkenazi said Wednesday in a speech at the 2012 Israeli Presidential Conference, referring to deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who reportedly suffered a crippling stroke Tuesday and is on life support. “This process is not yet over.

“It’s enough to think of Jordan,” he said, noting that Israel’s neighbor to the east is a key ally. “The Gulf countries are not immune either.”

Ashkenazi said Israel cares more about the stability of Arab regimes than the characteristics of those regimes, even as it might prefer democratic countries over authoritarian ones. Unstable regimes, weak central governments and failed states all provide opportunities for terrorist groups to expand their influence, he said, citing Egypt as an example. Since Mubarak was deposed in February 2011, terrorists have used the Sinai Peninsula as a staging ground for attacks against Israel, including a deadly one this week.

Egypt will continue to be unstable for some time, Ashkenazi predicted.

In Iran, Ashkenazi said the military option needs to remain above all. “Anything that undermines the military option on Iran is counterproductive,” he said, adding that the sanctions clock needs to be ticking faster.

Ashkenazi drew his biggest applause when he called for all Israelis to be drafted into the army as part of the repeal of Israel’s Tal Law on drafting the haredi Orthodox.

“I think we should draft everyone,” he said. “I think it’s very important they join the circle of service.”

Not all should become soldiers, he said, but the IDF should get first choice about who goes into army, and those remaining should go either to the police, fire or emergency services, or some form of national service. Currently, Israeli Arab citizens and haredi Orthodox Jews do not serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Out of an estimated 10,000 or so haredim who become eligible for army service every year, Ashkenazi said, 1,500 can be chosen to continue on the yeshiva track and become Torah greats, but all the others should serve.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.